Sunday, April 27, 2014

How to Have an Absolutely Fantabulous Marriage in 10 Easy Steps--Some Things Should be Sacred

Some things ought to be kept sacred. What happens behind closed doors should stay there. I'm not only talking about "what happens in the bedroom," although that's definitely up there on the list.

If you treat something as sacred, you make it special. It's private, and it's important. You don't tell the whole world, or facebook, or even your mother. Your relationship with your spouse is very special, and won't last if neither of you feel that you can trust each other or that you don't have the privacy you need. It will not help your relationship if you go to your friends or parents or siblings with stories about sex, disagreements, or insecurities. All it will do is damage your spouse in that person's eyes and hurt your spouse's trust and ability to be honest and vulnerable with you.

Talk things over with your spouse. If you are upset and need to vent, (it's ok, it happens sometimes) prayer and journaling are both great ways to get your emotions out and think through how you really feel without saying things that you don't mean to your spouse or saying things that are only your business to other people.

This summer I was going through a rough patch emotionally and physically (morning sickness is no picnic) and I got really frustrated with myself as well as being more irritable in general. I asked Cameron to not read my journal (not that he did before, but I just wanted him to know that I needed that to be a private place in case I ever left it out) and put all of my frustrations in there. Sometimes I've used my journal to keep my emotions pent up, but this summer I used it to let off steam. I said things in there that I didn't really mean, or would have sounded wrong if I said them out loud. I needed somewhere to gather my thoughts before I went to Cameron with problems or for help so that I didn't say something hurtful.

Before we were married I would have vented to my mom. She and I have always been close and I used to tell her everything. I've learned now that some things are meant for just Cameron and I, and that's ok. It doesn't mean I love my mom any less or that we're not as close. I can still talk to her about wishing we had a dishwasher or pregnancy questions or anything that isn't private and between my husband and I.

Don't post your feelings about relationship problems on facebook, twitter, or other social media and public places. It's not good for your relationship and it's awkward for others. If it's a cry for help and you want your spouse to see it and fix whatever problem, this isn't the place or the way to do it. Instead, talk to them in person. If you really are too upset to talk, consider writing a letter or email, carefully going over it to make sure that you're not being hurtful, only honest, and asking your spouse to read it.

Keeping these things out of public eyes doesn't mean you're lying. You don't need to pretend to anyone that you have a perfect marriage. It's ok to admit to faults and problems. However, sharing details of your personal life with your spouse is not something that should be done without careful consideration and consent. It's his (or her) relationship as well, not just yours.

Happy things can be sacred, too. There are times when I just want to tell the whole world how wonderful my husband is because he did x, y, and z for me! I have trouble holding it in, but sometimes there are things that should stay just between us, even if they are wonderful and make me incredibly happy. I try not to post the contents of the love notes he leaves me, or sometimes the gifts or acts of service he does for me. Because I love and appreciate them so much, they are very special and something that ought to be just between the two of us.

There are rare occasions when this rule needs to be thrown out the window. If you feel that you are in an abusive relationship and you have tried to communicate this to your spouse and nothing has changed, seek help. Don't try to hide or be strong. It's not selfish to protect yourself from physical or emotional harm. Do it in the proper way (again, not in your facebook status) but do something about it. You never have to be stuck somewhere where you do not feel safe. It doesn't have to mean divorce. I know people who have mended a relationship that was on the verge of falling apart and are now blissfully married, but I know others where it was good and necessary for the couple to separate. Consult the Lord as to how to deal with your specific situation. He loves you and he will not lead you astray.

Don't forget to tell your spouse how much you love them today!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Motherhood is Love

I would like to apologize in advance for the many run-on sentences in this post. I'm just letting my thoughts out and not worrying about grammar today. Thanks for your patience :)

I used to think that marriage is all about sacrifice and putting other's needs before your own--and it is--but then I became a mom.

And I realized that being a mom is really all about sacrifice and putting others first.

and then my mom, who had been staying with us and helping with baby and cooking and cleaning, went home and I realized it even more.

and then this weekend I got sick. Now I know that motherhood is really all about putting others first and making the hard choices and choosing to be strong even when you feel weak and praying your heart out because you don't want your baby to get sick because of the selfish reason of not wanting to have to stay up with him all night to make sure he can breathe but even more because you love that baby with all your heart and never want him to have to go through something as hard as a runny nose and sore throat.


I never knew that I could love so deeply and so completely. Nothing melts my heart so much as seeing my amazing husband holding our little boy, or having Sam pause his nursing just to give me a great big smile, or snuggling my baby and having his daddy wrap his arms around both of us. I never knew how sustaining love and prayers could be until I spent two and a half months waking up multiple times a night to feed this tiny little person and spent all day feeding him even more and changing diapers and still somehow have energy to go on walks and play peek-a-boo and sing until I'm horse.

Being a mom is a lot of work: exhausting, humbling, beautiful work. I have never been happier, nor more easily recognized the hand of the Lord in my life. My heart is so full of gratitude to my Father in Heaven for the many miracles he has wrought in my behalf. I am so glad that Cameron and I listened as He has guided us in the timing for beginning our family, both in our marriage and in having Sam.

As always, thank you so much everyone for your loving support as we haphazardly navigate our way through this crazy, wonderful life!